Friday, October 22, 2010

TGIF - What Ifs? vs. Why Nots?

Today would be a great day to plan your weekend. Yes, I said PLAN! This is different than worrying.

The great statesman, Winston Churchill said “Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning”

Many of us think that if we worry about something, it will focus our energy on making sure the event or task goes well.


Here are some typical beliefs and false assumptions about worry (Shearer & Gordon, 2006), and courtesy

Intolerance for uncertainty: "If I think about this enough, I should feel a sense of certainty."

Intolerance for discomfort: "If I can just think this through, I won't have to feel this way."

Inflated sense of responsibility and culpability: "If bad things happen, it's my fault."

Distorted risk assessment/emotional reasoning: "If it feels likely, it is likely. If it feels dangerous, it is dangerous."

Perfectionism--mistakes are unacceptable: "Mistakes mean I wasn't in control and screwed up."

Pessimism/presumed incapability: "Bad things will happen to me and I won't be able to deal with it."

Misconstrued virtue: "Worry shows how deeply I care about my children."

Overvaluation of the thought process: "Because I have a thought, it is, therefore, an important thought, and I must give it my full attention and get it settled. I can anticipate and avoid discomfort by worrying."

"Meta-worry" or worry about worrying: "I'm making myself sick. I'm going to bring on an early heart attack. I'm out of control. I'm weak. If my faith was stronger, I wouldn't worry."

Implicit magical beliefs: "Worry prevents bad things from happening. It keeps loved ones safer."

Please use today to ask yourself "why not?", not "what if".

Why not plan that trip to an exotic destination that I have wanted to take, but I am too busy to take?
Why not ask the person next to me struggling with their own issues if I can help?
Why not ask, "what are my dreams?"

For as Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

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